It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all those digits in the total cost of your college budget, but just as with other types of cost-cutting strategies, trimming down college costs can best be accomplished with a series of small, yet simple steps.
One of the best ways to improve your budget with a child in college is to take advantage of student discounts. I’ve created a list of ways to your child can save by using the coveted student-status.
- Entertainment. Have your student scour local theaters, restaurants, and even on-campus events for student discounts. They may not be listed, but they are surprisingly widespread. Your student may be able to get deals on things like:
- Restaurant discounts/free drink or other food with purchase,
- Discounted movie theater prices,
- On-campus concerts & theater productions,
- Theme park admission.
- Groceries. Grocery stores in college-towns often offer an incentive to students. For example, students at Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia have reported that their local Harris Teeter offers a 5% discount on grocery purchases to students who show ID. It’s worth asking about!
- Insurance. Talk to your auto insurance agent about good-student discounts. Many will cut a significant portion of your student’s yearly cost if you fax in a copy of their report card and it shows good grades.
- Travel. Student discounts are huge for the travel industry. Your student could go through a discounted student travel agency like STA Travel or Student Universe, or talk to an agent at the airline or other travel service about student discounting directly through their company.
- Computers. Computer companies often offer great discounts to students, especially during the summer months when everyone is gearing up for back-to-school. Look for student discounts from retailers like Dell and Apple, or any other computer you’re considering. There is even a non-profit org called Notebooks for Students that is dedicated to finding refurbished computers at low prices for college students. Many colleges also offer discounts for computers and software through the campus bookstore or through prearranged deals with the manufacturers.
- Software. Websites like Academic Superstore and Campus Tech offer steep discounts on popular software to students.
Don’t forget – combining student discounts with online coupon codes, rebate deals or even a credit or debit rewards card can also yield huge savings!
All the best,